TCAT is pleased to release a backgrounder on five different bikeway options currently in use or under consideration by the City of Toronto. Under the direction of the TCAT Director and Steering Committee, this backgrounder was developed by Jessica Stronghill, TCAT's newest volunteer.
As reported in a recent TCAT News, at its meeting on June 23, 2011 the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee made several recommendations regarding Toronto's 2011 Bikeway Network Update. On July 12 and 13, 2011, Toronto City Council spent close to 12 hours debating a myriad and complicated bundle of items and motions. Since the decisions to build new off-road trails and Toronto's first physically separated bike lanes (on Bloor St. E., Sherbourne, Wellesley and Adelaide or Richmond) were combined with the controversial elimination of bike lanes, several Councillors made unsuccessful attempts to amend the wording of the motions, or to separate them out.
The City of Ottawa recently implemented Ontario's first downtown segregated bike lanes (referred to as physically separated bike lanes in Toronto), as a two-year pilot project on Laurier Avenue West. The bike and traffic lanes are separated by planter boxes, poles, and concrete curbs.
To have separated bike lanes or not to? Over the last four years, New York City has transformed some of its major arterial streets to make them safer for all road users and to provide more space for walking, biking, and transit. These streets have been redesigned with broad support from the community, leaders, experts, and local businesses and the results have been dramatic.
Already considered one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world, Copenhagen recently announced that its busiest bicycle street will now be transformed into its first bicycle highway. This plan is expected to ease both bicycle congestion in the crowded bike paths, but also unclog car traffic as well.